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In 11i10 you should look into the use of Realms and Securing attributes by either Responsibility or specfic user. The functionality should be described in the iP user guide but the really short version is: A realm is a set of access privileges to internal catalogs, external catalogs, or categories within internal catalogs. Realms appear as securing attributes in the System Administrator User window; they are assigned to users in exactly the same manner as securing attributes are assigned.
Note though that the Realm setup will not restrict categories in LOV's for e.g. non-catalog requests. (Metalink Note 604484.1).
In R12 the catalog management and security is handled via Content Zones that are combined together into stores. Content Zones can include or exclude certain categories and by assigning the content zones to a store a combined catalog content is created. The combinations of content zones and stores vcan be secured by e.g. operating unit and/or responsibilites.
Look at the Implementation/User's Guide for your respective version for guidiance.